March 16, 2018 Subject:
Earliest Chicago Audio
This is the earliest audio I can find from Chicago. Couldn't find anything from earlier shows on 27-28 Nov. 1968 and 31-1 Jan./Feb. 1969. Good, albeit short set, clocking in at approximately an hour of music. This Charlie Miller transfer is a 69 treat. It's mostly Pig Pen on lead vocals, accounting for over forty minutes of music with a solid Hard to Handle opener, a nasty-dirty Little Schoolgirl, and 24-minute Lovelight closer. Jerry pleases on an 7-minute Doin' That Rag and a 7-minute Morning Dew. Dew of course would get better in years to come, but this is still a sweet version, to be sure. And then there's Bobby's failed attempt at humor :)
Pigpen is the man - some high energy on Schoolgirl and Lovelight. The following night is the more famous of the two, it being released officially and all, and a lot of the same numbers on that night are here as well, but don't let that stop you from getting into some of that blues.
March 9, 2013 Subject:
I was trying to think of a good show to remember Pigpen on the 40th anniversary of his death. I thought of this 69 show that I had taped from a Grateful Dead hour in the mid-90s. This version of Schoolgirl showcases Pig at the top of his game.
The show opens with a standard 69 Hard to Handle with Jerry on slide. These 69 versions are pretty crude compared to the powerhouse renditions they started playing in spring of 71. They really dig into the jam in Doin That Rag, in fact, this is probably the most jammed out I've ever heard this tune. Jerry emphasizes the G at the end of Rag in a similar fashion to the famous 3-1-69 Doin that Rag.
Now the reason I dug out this show, a showcase version of the Sonny Boy Williamson classic, Good Morning Little Schoolgirl. This is up there with the very best versions of this tune. Pigpen sings with passion and takes 3 smokin harp solos, encouraging Jerry to take the jams to the next levl. Phil and the drummers are also at their very best. This is so down and dirty that Pig assures us the he doesn't care if she's only 15 years of age! He'd probably get arrested for just saying that in these overly politically correct days, or at least featured on an Episode of 'To Catch a Predator' lol.
Morning Dew, Top of the World and Lovelight are all very solid. The only low point in the show comes when Bobby tells the terrible Yellow Dog story. Not only is this a stupid joke, Bobby screws the timing up when delivering the punch line.
Booby makes an announcement promising a second set after Lovelight so I assume this list is incomplete. Judging from the high quality of whats here, I would love to hear the missing material. It seems likely there is a missing Dark Star as they don't play it the following night and in 69 it was rare that they failed to play Dark Star for two consecutive nights at the same venue.
I'm going to give it four stars based on whats here, if the missing material is up to the same level it would probably warrant five stars.
August 11, 2012 Subject:
Expanding their sound
Definitely Garcia playing slide on Hard to Handle. Bobby wouldn't attempt slide until All All New New Minglewood in 1976. He's Still trying to figure it out.
I would assume this isn't a full show. It's not as jam-dropping setlist wise as the Ark shows and their sound hadn't quite evolved into their cowboy vibe that would begin to materialize in a few months. It's so interesting to see their sound go from this electricity-psychedelia powerhouse to a folk-inspired acid flashback. To me everything changes when "High Time" and "Dire Wolf" are introduced into rotation in June.
This show fares as a nice accompaniment to the Dick's Picks release of the next night (which is the stronger show), and gets five stars because its really charming to have these 69' boards and hearing how much they changed so quickly.
August 10, 2012 Subject:
Weir or Garcia?
I'm guessing that's Jerry, not Bobby, playing slide on H2H. Anyone know for sure?
April 25, 2012 Subject:
The Dew is great,
but short. The whole show is short, and to me the setlist is not particularly interesting, but well-played.
August 23, 2011 Subject:
ugly yellow dog joke
this is only the second show ive ever heard where bobby tells the ugly yellow dog joke.. did bobby actually think that joke was funny! lol..
April 25, 2010 Subject:
Dat (Sony R500) -> Sound Devices 744T -> Adobe Audition v1.5 -> Samplitude Professional v10.2 -> FLAC
Another top shelf Charlie Miller Transfer! Thanks Charlie.